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Patea Fire: Civil Defence Says Thank You

Taranaki Civil Defence Emergency Management Group media release

07 February 2008

Patea Fire: Civil Defence Says Thank You

The Waitangi Day fire emergency at Patea showed again how well Taranaki people rally to assist when needed, says Taranaki Civil Defence Controller David Lean.

"As with the tornadoes in July last year, there was a magnificent response across the board," he says.

The Civil Defence Emergency Management Group extends its grateful thanks to:

* Emergency services.

* Salvation Army.

* South Taranaki District Council staff.

* Work and Income staff.

* The bus company and hotels and motels who responded immediately to requests for services.

* All the volunteers who staffed or offered help to the welfare centre in Hawera and the Emergency Management Office in New Plymouth.

* Those from local marae and others who offered accommodation and care for people displaced by the fire.

"While there was no emergency declaration, there was a significant Civil Defence mobilisation to ensure immediate welfare needs were met for the people directly affected," says Mr Lean.

"Unfortunately the fire led to the cancellation of Patea's Pae Pae in the Park Waitangi Day celebration. But to the great credit of those involved, food originally intended for this event was diverted to feed the people who had evacuated their homes."

The Ministry of Social Development Regional Commissioner, Gloria Campbell, says she was very impressed with the community spirit and the groups of people who pulled together to help.

"That is typical of people in small rural communities," she says.

A meeting of health, fire and local government officials will be held at Hawera today to decide on the next steps.

Patea people with concerns or queries about any risks associated with asbestos should contact the Taranaki District Health Board's Health Protection Unit on 06 753 7798.


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